5 Comments

Jatinder
Totally agree, contextualising theories is very important in helping students to understand the relevance of what they're learning. VR can play a huge role in this to make learning more engaging/fun!
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Peter Miller
If image quality is/was poor in SL (and let's not forget the open source OpenSim), why is Minecraft so popular? In my opinion engagement trumps fidelity and cognitive load theory indicates that more (realism) is not necessarily better when it comes to learning.
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Matt Ramirez
It's true that photorealistic environments cannot carry a poorly constructed narrative and that storytelling along with interactivity is the key to user engagement. Days spent playing Elite on the BBC micro at primary school certainly immersed me in another world without groundbreaking visuals. However, I do think that physically accurate constructed worlds can help draw in the user even further without being the driving factor in the overall experience.
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Steve Wileman
Great article, agree with everything your saying here. Looking forward to seeing the outputs from the AR-Sci project.
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Liz Falconer
Great article, thanks Matt. We have certainly found that visual, immersive experiences have a positive effect on student learning and I do agree with Peter above - engagement is the key issue. It isn't so much photorealism as an environment that feels authentic - and authenticity has different parameters compared to photorealism.
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